The Second Life of Eddie Coyne by Louis K. Lowy Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A man lost to his gambling addiction finds himself making the ultimate bet when his very soul is on the line in author Louis K. Lowy’s latest book, “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne”. 

The Synopsis

A dying gambler takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul.

Eddie Coyne loves playing the horses. Loves it so much it’s ruining his relationship with his wife and six-year-old son. In a last ditch effort to prove he’s not a loser in their eyes, Eddie places a seemingly impossible bet on a long shot and hits pay dirt.

But before he can cash in and make amends with his family, he’s attacked and left for dead by a greedy hoodlum looking to cash in on Eddie’s winnings. Dying, Eddie wakes up in the presence of the Jesses, a monolithic group of six whose job it is to decide who enters heaven and who enters hell. The Jesses tell Eddie he’s stuck in the middle—not good enough for heaven, not bad enough for hell. They entice him to go in on one final bet to break the dead heat. 

If he triumphs, they stamp his ticket to paradise. If he loses, he spends eternity in the netherworld. The bet? Eddie must prevent someone chosen by the Jesses from taking their own life. Thinking it will be a piece of cake, Eddie agrees. He quickly learns the Jesses are more cunning than he’d imagined.

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The Review

This is a truly fun, unexpected and masterful jump into the fantasy world that readers will thoroughly enjoy. This adult narrative holds no punches, showing the highs and lows of a man who loves his family but took life for granted, and bet one too many times. From the moment Eddie finds himself making one final bet with a heavenly body of judges known as the Jesses, readers are taken on a whirlwind adventure through time and history as Eddie is given chance after chance to save the life of someone who has given up on life, and must show them why life is worth living. 

The story is compelling and emotional throughout, giving equal glimpses of humor, wit and shocking twists that readers won’t expect. A book that delves into the concept of not only life and death, but realizing what is truly important in one’s life, readers will be impressed by how the author has balanced the fantasy elements of the story with personal character reflections between Eddie and the secondary characters. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel to be sure. One of the top fantasy books of the year that holds a sense of realism to the tone novel, the author has done a fantastic job of bringing the story of life and it’s many wonders to light in a fresh and unique way. Elements of time travel, history and action fuse intimately with the emotional pull of Eddie both as a character and an unlikely hero in this tale, making it a one of a kind read to be sure. If you haven’t yet, grab your copy of “The Second Life of Eddie Coyne” by Louis K. Lowy May 28th, 2019!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Louis’ latest novel, the urban fantasy, THE SECOND LIFE OF EDDIE COYNE is the story of a dying gambler who takes on one final bet for the ultimate prize—a chance to save his soul. The release date is May 27, 2019. (IFWG Publishing)

TO DREAM, book one of his science fiction epic, ANATOMY OF A HUMACHINE (IFWG Publishing), was released in 2017.

Louis K. Lowy’s first published novel, DIE LAUGHING (IFWG Publishing 2011), is a humorously dark science fiction adventure set in the 1950s.

His 2015 novel, PEDAL (Rereleased in 2017 by IFWG Publishing), tells the story of a 49-yr-old music teacher who loses her job and struggles to reclaim her life through bicycle racing.

Louis’ short stories have appeared in, among others, New Plains Review, The MacGuffin Magazine, the anthology Everything is Broken, and the Chaffey Review.

A former firefighter, he is the recipient of a State of Florida Individual Artist Fellowship and an alumnus of Florida International University’s creative writing program.

His website is www.louisklowy.com. In addition to Goodreads, he is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

https://louisklowy.com

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001621851402

https://tinyurl.com/IFWG-Lowy

https://ifwgpublishing.com/

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High School Queens (The High School Queens Trilogy #1) by Zachary Ryan Review

A group of young teens facing the last few months of their high school lives at an elite prep school discover a threat hiding in the shadows, threatening to expose the secret lives they are all leading in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”.

TRIGGER WARNING: THIS NOVEL DEALS WITH THEMES OF SELF-HARM, EATING DISORDERS AND MORE. READER DISCRETION ADVISED. 

A group of young teens facing the last few months of their high school lives at an elite prep school discover a threat hiding in the shadows, threatening to expose the secret lives they are all leading in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”. Here is the synopsis. 

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The Synopsis 

They all thought they did a masterful job of keeping their secrets close to their chest. These stupid fools thought they were the high court of this kingdom, but they had no clue who was really pulling the strings. You might wonder to yourself, who would be that heartless to make them backstab their friends, expose other’s secrets, and lose their morals? You don’t need to know who I am, but you better remember my name, The Marked Queen.

Danielle, Andrew, Delilah, Aman, and Jasmine all are now faced with a mysterious villain whose one goal is to ruin each of their lives. They must protect their secrets at all cost, or they’ll be the next victim on Marked Day. They know what’s at stake, and they’ll stop at nothing to continue being: the rich spoiled girl, the normal teenager, the girl who isn’t banging the principal, the straight vlogger, and the girl who isn’t her dad’s punching bag. What happens when The Marked Queen changes up the game just in time for prom? Will each of our favorite puppets survive? Or are they willing to backstab each other just to keep up their personas? The only thing lost at this prom wasn’t going to be their virginity.

Sex, Lies, and High School Queens explores the major theme of self-acceptance. Can they learn to accept all their flaws or pray victim to The Marked Queen? Each chapter continues to fill your sweet tooth until the climactic moment at the prom where you get to have that final bite of the bitch cake you’ve been dying to consume.

The Review

 What a fun, dramatic and engaging read. The writing style was incredibly unique, as readers jumped from character to character in each chapter, with a personal narration of the character’s growing problems from the mysterious figures hiding in the shadows, waiting to expose each person’s secrets. 

From hiding their sexuality from the world and their families, to keeping their self-destructive tendencies to themselves and the lifestyles they find themselves forced to live in, each character has an intense and profound secret that defines their journey, and readers will watch not only as each character finds their rock bottom, but the lengths to which they will go to keep their secrets to themselves. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for any LGBTQ Drama/Romance fans out there in the YA world. A powerful character study of the problems teens are faced with nowadays, the mystery of the Marked Queen and their plans for the elite members of the prep school play out like the high octane drama of the hit series Pretty Little Liars, with a bit less murder. Who is the Marked Queen, and what is his/her ultimate goal? Find out in author Zachary Ryan’s novel “High School Queens”, the first in the High School Queens saga, today! 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Zachary Ryan grew up in a black-and-white box in Maryland, before moving to Chicago to start a new life. There, he found that he was accepted for his misfit status—and learned that it’s perfectly normal to spend your twenties feeling lost and confused.

After a disastrous sexual encounter, Ryan stumbled on a group of true friends, or “soul cluster,” that he connected with. Through his writing, he hopes to help other broken souls out there find comfort amid the chaos.

https://zacharyryanbooks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Zacharyryanbooks/

Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel Review

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A small group of teens find themselves forever changed as an alien threatens to destroy the world in author J.J. Angel’s novel “Tales of Potentia: The Shadows”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Humanity has always wanted to understand the inner soul of the cosmic web we call the Universe. They fulfill their curiosity with exploration hoping for eternal enlightenment, but what if something darkened their views? Something that could wipe out the entire Earth if given the opportunity?

Tales of Potentia: the Shadows, is the first rush in a thrilling and nail-biting supernatural fantasy series that entertains your curiosity and teases your imagination with an endless war between the Universe and the Absence of Light.

When a cosmic entity unleashes on an unsuspecting community, it carries an insatiable hunger and a hostile attitude with it.

The only resolve against this threat lies within the hands of a few teens, who gain mysterious supernatural abilities from a mysterious crystal not of this Earth. However, everything is not as it seems and if they don’t find out how to use Potentia correctly they will find themselves next on the menu.

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The Review

This was a fun new sci-fi/fantasy novel that began an intriguing new mythology that will hopefully expand further into a series. The book immediately jumps into the action and mystery of the deadly new threat, slowly building up to a story of monstrous and bloodthirsty creatures, a lone survivor looking to stop the threat forever, government agencies and innocent teens whose lives are changed forever by the discovery of powerful energies that merge with them unexpectedly.

The story was evenly paced, and did a marvelous job of presenting characters that were relatable and easy to cheer for. While there were a few instances of grammatical and misplaced word mistakes, the story overall was powerful and the author does a marvelous job of setting up this intricately detailed new galactic mythology without giving away too many details early on. By book’s end the stage is set for an expanding series, teasing growing threats and the power these teens have to face the coming darkness. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy driven narratives. Especially geared towards a YA audience, both YA and Adult audiences will enjoy the chilling tale of monsters and aliens that descends on the world, and the few people who will find their lives changed forever. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of Tales of Potentia: The Shadows by J.J. Angel today!

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

J.J. Angel, also know by his other pseudonym J.J. Angelus, is an energetic, humorous, but equally focused creative author who enjoys immersing his ideas and creating imaginary worlds within the realms of science fiction, fantasy, and some horror. He is a former Entertainment Tech Film Major of Baton Rouge Community College and a recipient of the Unsung Hero Award for his contribution towards the anthology, “Voices from the Bayou”, with emotional and thought provoking narrative, “Still Water Runs Deep”. 

When he isn’t writing, JJ enjoys creature features, evening walks by the river, poetry, volunteering, and digital art and animation.

Website:  https://www.talesofpotentia.com

Twitter: @powerthenovel

Facebook: Facebook profile

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/animated_author/

Wattpad: JaiAngel7

Blog: http://powernovelseries.blogspot.com/

Written in Blood by Layton Green Review

A cop seeking a life of relative peace by taking a job in his former hometown in North Carolina finds horror when a gruesome murder teases the arrival of a serial killer in author Layton Green’s “Written in Blood”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A cop seeking a life of relative peace by taking a job in his former hometown in North Carolina finds horror when a gruesome murder teases the arrival of a serial killer in author Layton Green’s “Written in Blood”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis 

Detective Joe “Preach” Everson, a prison chaplain turned police officer, is coming home. After a decade tracking down killers in Atlanta, and with a reputation as one of the finest homicide detectives in the city, his career derailed when he suffered a mental breakdown during the investigation of a serial killer who was targeting children. 

No sooner does Preach arrive at home in Creekville, North Carolina–a bohemian community near Chapel Hill–than a local bookstore owner is brutally killed, the first murder in a decade. The only officer with homicide experience, Preach is assigned to the case and makes a shocking discovery: the bookstore owner has been murdered in exactly the same manner as the pawnbroker in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. 

With the help of Ariana Hale, a law student and bibliophile who knew the victim, Preach investigates the local writer’s community. As their questions increase, a second body is found, this time eerily resembling the crime scene in a famous Edgar Allan Poe novella. Preach and Ariana realize that their adversary is an intelligent, literate killer with a mind as devious as it is disturbed–and one or both of them may be his next target.

The Review

The author has truly captured the serial killer thriller and classic “whodunnit” storytelling theme that has defined crime thrillers. The emergence of a disturbed serial killer with a penchant for literary based crime scenes immediately grips readers in a tight embrace as the investigation takes twists and turns the reader will never see coming. 

While the characters really provided the insight and emotion of the investigation, it was the setting that really captivated me in this story. As I lived in North Carolina for a number of years, not only did I feel personally connected to the location of the story, but the concept of a small town harboring the same level of deceit, crime and seedy underbelly that one would normally expect in a large city was truly fascinating to play out. We see this often in the novel reflected in the protagonist, as Preach sees the hard hitting criminal underworld setting he thought he left behind show itself throughout the investigation inside this seemingly peaceful small town, something many people are beginning to see in our world today.

The Verdict

This was a truly captivating read. Heart-pounding action and shocking character twists that will leave readers hanging off of the author’s every word, this is a must read novel in the crime thriller genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of the novel “Written in Blood” by Layton Green today. 

Rating: 10/10

About the Author

Layton is a bestselling author who writes across multiple genres, including mystery, thriller, suspense, horror, and fantasy. He is the author of the popular Dominic Grey series, as well as other works of fiction. His novels have topped numerous lists (including a #2 overall Amazon bestseller) and have been nominated for major awards, including two finalists for an International Thriller Writers award. Layton is also the co-editor of International Thrills, the online magazine of ITW (International Thriller Writers).

In addition to writing, Layton attended law school in New Orleans and was a practicing attorney for the better part of a decade (even though he still resents having cut his hair for that first interview). He has also been an intern for the United Nations, an ESL teacher in Central America, a bartender in London, a seller of cheap knives on the streets of Brixton, a door-to-door phone book deliverer in Florida, and the list goes downhill from there. Currently based in Durham, North Carolina, Layton has traveled to more than sixty countries, lived in a number of them, and has a burning desire to see every country, city, beach, moor, castle, cemetery, twisted street and far flung dot on the map.

www.laytongreen.com

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Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel by Clive Fleury Review

A man desperate to survive a declining world finds himself discovering the dark secrets of the world’s most powerful security force in author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A man desperate to survive a declining world finds himself discovering the dark secrets of the world’s most powerful security force in author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code”. Here is the synopsis. 

The Synopsis

WHEN THE OCEANS RISE…THE TRUTH DROWNS

The year 2031. Our future. Their present. A world decimated by climate catastrophe, where the sun’s heat is deadly and the oceans rise higher every day. A world ruled by the rich, powerful, and corrupt. A world where a good man can’t survive for long.

Hogan Duran was a good man once: a good cop, forced to resign in disgrace when he couldn’t save his partner from a bullet. Now Hogan lives on the fraying edges of society, serving cruel masters and scavenging trash dumps just to survive.

But after four years of living in poverty, Hogan finally gets the chance to get back on his feet. He’s invited to join the National Security Council, the powerful paramilitary organization responsible for protecting the rich and powerful from the more unsavory elements of society. All he needs to do is pass their deadly entrance exam, and he’ll be rewarded with wealth and opportunity beyond his wildest dreams.

But this ex-cop’s path to redemption won’t be easy. The NSC is hiding something, and as Hogan descends deeper and deeper into their world, he starts to uncover the terrible truth of how the powerful in this new society keep their power…and just how far they’ll go to protect their secrets.

In a world gone wrong, can one good man actually make a difference? Or will he die trying?

The Review

In just a 136 pages, author Clive Fleury packs quite a punch that delves head first into the dystopian sci-fi genre. Exploring a world in the midst of financial and climate ruin, the author expertly crafts a tale of redemption, misconceptions and a fight for the truth that leads the protagonist in several directions. The futuristic world that is built in this short novel instantly grabs the readers attention, drawing them into this vicious cycle where the elite rule all, and the majority of people live in complete poverty. 

Mixing the grim reality that most dystopian novels feed off of with the advanced technology and great character development, this novel accomplishes a great deal of entertainment and fun in a short time. Readers will be left breathless as the tables turn time and time again, leaving the question: who can Hogan trust?

The Verdict

This is a must read sci-fi and dystopian novel. Filled to the brim with action, suspense and a mystery that slowly unravels into a collective mind of chaos and intrigue only a true fan of the genre could appreciate. If you enjoy entertaining sci-fi and dystopian novels, then author Clive Fleury’s “Kill Code” is for you. Pick up your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About Me:

I am an award-winning writer of books and screenplays, and a TV and film director and producer.  I have worked for major broadcasters and studios on a wide variety of successful projects in the US, UK, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East. 

www.clivefleurywriter.com

Louisiana Latte by Rebecca Henry Review

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two sisters on a business trip find themselves reminiscing about their lives and discovering who the other truly is in author Rebecca Henry’s self-described chick-lit comedy, “Louisiana Latte”. Here is the synopsis:

The Synopsis

Deb hadn’t flown in over 20 years. In 1989, at the age of 22, Deb was enrolled at Griffiss Airforce Base to become a commercial pilot. Somewhere between dating her yuppie fiancé and planning their wedding in Chicago, Deb developed claustrophobia—a fear of enclosed spaces. I blame the yuppie. Deb couldn’t get on a plane for love that day, but she could do it 20 years later for money. Money was worth dying for.

The Review

If you are looking for a humorous, quick-witted whirlwind story, then this is the book for you. The story follows Deb and her sister Becky, who travel to a business conference in Louisiana. Twenty years earlier, Deb found her career as a pilot over as claustrophobia took over. Now in the present, Deb is a self-described diva with an all consuming need for the finer things in life, even forgoing paying bills in order to have the latest handbag or jewelry. Meanwhile her sister Becky juggles being in awe of her confident and good spirited sister and the responsibility of running a business together and being a full time mother and wife as well. 

The story does a marvelous job of infusing humor into Deb’s incredible outgoing personality while showing the intimate moments from both fo the sister’s lives that define not only their relationship, but each other as well. Along the way Becky finds herself discovering exactly why her sister is the diva that she is, and finds a woman with more heart than anyone could have imagined.

The Verdict

This short read is a must buy book. A funny and feel good chick-lit comedy like no other, the story flows smoothly and creates a unique bond between Becky and Deb that is rarely felt in novels, and yet will feel real and familiar to many families out there. If you enjoy a hilarious and quick witted comedy, then be sure to grab your copy of “Louisiana Latte” by Rebecca Henry on February 28th, 2019. 

Rating: 8/10

https://rebeccahenryauthor.blogspot.com/

About the Author

I am a newly published author with one novel released and another book coming out for publication, in February 2019. I am also a world traveller, living abroad. I have many interests and hobbies in life, besides my greatest passion of all, my family. I am also a vegan, gardener, crafter, and I practice yoga regularly.

The Sojourners by T.L. Hughes Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

One young man’s adventure seeking to fulfill lifelong dreams turns into a journey of self discovery in author T.L. Hughes novel The Sojourners. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

When Chasing a Dream Leads Deeper Within……

Picking up where Searching for Paradise left off, Mike Hogan, Decky Brady, and Luke Coppens start off in London, still chasing and believing their Hollywood dreams of working in the music video business. But after only a few days into the trip, the friends quickly abandon their efforts and put new plans into place. 

On his own developing journey and through encounters with other travelers and new friends, Mike Hogan experiences the love of finding oneself again. With vivid imagery, poetry and references to great songs throughout, The Sojourners stands on its own as a complete work, with colorful characters and simple people who resonate with the beauty of life. This inspiring, reflective novel shows the importance of ultimate belief in ourselves, and the realization that despite our differences, deep down inside, we all share a common good.

What others are saying:

“Throughout it all, Hughes maintains a tension that transforms this meandering tale into one of complex depictions of human compassion. A charming, soulful entry into a popular (and often disappointing) genre.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Hughes gives us beautiful sentences and finely crafted imagery throughout, with a comforting cadence in his prose, rolling along like a train journey. The story offers carefree country-hopping for the armchair traveler, and each new location – bar, disco, train car, or sidewalk – serves up a vicarious thrill. The Sojourners is a beautifully written work of travel writing, which will be especially appealing to those who have yet to travel, or those who may want to rekindle the expanded horizons of traveling abroad.” Self-Publishing Review, ★★★★ 

The Review

This was an incredibly deep, emotional and thoughtful read. Filled with flowing storytelling and memorable characters throughout, the novel featured incredibly beautiful imagery used by the protagonist, describing his journey through Europe and through the inner workings of his own mind. 

The themes of dealing with loss, finding one’s purpose and discovering the meaning of your own life through travel and adventure really stuck out to me. Unlike other stories of self-discovery, this story stood out for delving into the Cold War era 1980’s, and with each new character introduced in the journey the author saw the real life struggle of topics like racism, politics and religion play out in a completely natural way.

The Verdict

Overall this was a phenomenal read. A detailed, thorough yet pleasant read, the story held the readers attention throughout and painted an image of the protagonist’s journey with such ease that it felt as if you’d lived the journey yourself. Full of humor, wit and charm, the story felt relatable and like something current day readers could draw their real life struggles from. If you haven’t yet, grab this emotionally driven novel The Sojourners by T.L. Hughes today.

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

T.L. Hughes was born in Salem, Massachusetts, and at a young age moved to Lowell, Massachusetts where he grew up, attending the local public schools through high school. After graduating from the University of Massachusetts in 1980, he headed west to California. Today, he lives in Orange County with his wife and family.